Frequently Asked Questions

NW Women’s Surf Camps Most Asked Questions or Concerns

  1. Referring to our Oregon Coast camps, lessons and clinics,, will I get cold in the 50-54 degree ocean temps? Wetsuit designs for women who surf cold water regions have come full circle in just the last 10+ years. We can now be totally warm and comfortable in wetsuits that fit us well and are flexible too. Most are all black which is helpful to attract radiant heat from the sunshine, along with being figure flattering
  2. What about sharks? The West Coast has sharks, numerous species of them. Only a few have ever been known to attack people. They are what keep our ocean ecosystem vital, healthy and thriving. Without sharks, our ocean ecosystems would literally collapse. In my 30 years of surfing in Oregon and around the world, I have never seen, been bumped or bit by a shark while I was surfing. I’ve encountered numerous other species like seals, sea lions, porpoises, dolphins, whales, orcas, sea turtles, salmon, fishes and birds of migration and prey, to my delight! This may sound silly but you have a much higher chance of being electrocuted from a toaster than killed by a shark. A few years ago I read this statistic of worldwide deaths, for a toaster it was 791, for a shark it was 9. I like to say there are more sharks driving on Hwy 26 from Portland to Seaside than the ones cruising offshore. Stay off your phones when you drive folks.
  3. Am I too old to start surfing? Am I too heavy to start surfing? Am I too scared to start surfing? As to feeling you’re too heavy to perhaps start surfing? Over the last decade teaching students of all shapes, ages, sizes and limitations, I’ve learned to never underestimate or judge a person by their size. We each have our strengths and abilities, along with our weaknesses and challenges. Sometimes a student has a keen sense of balance, or a quick physical reaction time, or a flexible body, we’re each unique. When I lived on the North Shore of Oahu in the late 70’s to the mid 80’s, there was a great young Hawaiian surfer named Junior Moepono. Not only was he the joyful, fun seeking island boy but he also “ripped” and “shredded” at Rocky Point on his shortboard. Junior was over 300 pounds. Are you too scared to start surfing? Well if you’re feeling scared, it’s probably driven by a personal fear you may have. So ask yourself if the feeling of fear is a distressing emotion aroused by an impending danger? What’s the danger? Or is it something you’re afraid of or frightened by? What are you afraid of? Or is it the one I like to consider, reverential awe of surfing? Reverential means causing or inspiring reverence. Reverence means a feeling of respect tinged with awe. You are the only one who can decide if surfing is worth moving beyond your fear. I know it has been so for me.
  4. Do most women who join your camps and retreats come with a girlfriend or alone? Most of our students sign up on their own. I imagine it’s because of scheduling in our busy lives. It may be hard to get the same time off as your girlfriends from your work, school and family. No worries though, you’re about to meet women who share your passion to learn surfing and you’ll be pleasantly surprised at how quickly you have a new group of “surf sisters” cheering you on!
  5. I wear contact lenses, is that ok with surfing? Yes, most of our students who wear contacts keep them in while surfing. You just have to be good at closing your eyes when a wave splashes you or when you dive under them. I have had a few students with very bad eyesight who don’t wear contacts, simply keep their glasses on with a sport strap.
  6. Can I bring my own surfboard to the camp or retreat? If the board you have is one which you’re learning on well and you want to keep progressing on it, then yes you should bring it. If it’s a board that you’ve been having problems surfing with, perhaps the shape and length aren’t quite right for you, then you should consider one of ours. We’ll help you with a board recommendation on the first day of camp.
  7. How can I physically prepare or cross train for surfing? Crossfit or similar HIIT training, Zumba, Spin and Yoga are my choices to stay in shape for surfing. Ideally, you just surf every day on fun, perfect waves for hours.  Back to reality, establishing a routine that supports you in your strength, balance and flexibility is best. Crossfit HIIT style workouts keep you physically strong and focus on full range of motion exercise. Zumba keeps your back and hips loose for surfing and paddling a board, along with great cardio stamina. Spin cycle classes are fantastic for building your endurance and your quick sprint muscles for catching waves. Yoga supports your balance, flexibility and creates a calm attitude to approach surfing with. Specific exercises to focus on would be tricep pushups, pull-ups, crunches and holding plank positions.

For all other questions you may have, please contact the Director Lexie Hallahan by phone at # (503) 440 5782 or email her at You can also submit online our Contact Us Here.

We look forward to sharing our passion for surfing with you soon!”